Thanks for Life

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Thanks for Life

Thanks for Life is a purpose built initiative, supported by Rotary clubs in Great Britain and Ireland, to raise 1 million for the End Polio Now campaign in response to the Bill and Melinda Gates challenge.  It is timed for February 23, 2010, Rotary Day and the period around it (February 20 28).

 Rotarians throughout Rotary International are enthusiastically committed to the drive to wipe out polio from the world.  Since Rotary became involved in polio eradication in 1985, the number of reported polio cases has fallen from 350,000 a year to 1000; 125 endemic countries have been reduced to just 4 Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan; and two billion children have been protected from the disease.

Raise Funds to Meet the Bill & Melinda Gates Challenge

By the end of 2012 Rotarians throughout Rotary International have been challenged to raise $200 million to match the wonderful donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Every Rotary club in the world is being asked to help meet the challenge.  The millions of dollars raised will be a vital catalyst to help achieve Rotarys top goal of ending polio worldwide.

What is Polio?

Polio is a viral disease that can damage the nervous system and cause paralysis.  The polio virus enters the body through the mouth, usually from hands contaminated with the faeces (pooh) of an infected person.  Polio is preventable by immunisation.  Polio mainly affects children under five years of age, but the vaccine almost always protects a child for life and that is why almost all children in RIBI have already been vaccinated. The cost of immunisation is very little 50p can immunise a child against polio for life.

Before the availability of polio immunisation, polio was common worldwide.  However, with strong immunisation programmes and efforts by organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Rotary International (RI) to rid the world of polio, circulation of polio viruses is limited to a decreasing number of countries.

The Purple Pinkie Project

During the National Immunisation Days the children who have been given the vaccine are identified by putting a dye on the little finger on the left hand the dye lasts for a week or two before wearing off.  It prevents double dosage but also millions of children in polio-endemic countries know that a freshly marked purple pinkie means freedom from the disease.

What the Thurso Club is doing:

During the Thanks for Life Week, Thurso Rotary Club raised awareness and funds through displays in Caithness Horizons and local shop windows, Purple Pinkie events with all local schools and one one occasion, some members growing goatee beards and dying them purple for the dedicated week.   

At the Purple Pinkie events Rotarians or members from Thurso High School Interact Club make pupils aware of what polio is, what we are doing to help remove this disease from the children of the world and raise funds from the pupils a donation of 1 will help to fight polio and save 5 childrens lives!  So, wear something purple, or get your pinkie marked with a purple stamp to show your support.